The grand European tour

The great thing about starting a business from scratch is that you have no points of reference. At first, we set it up as a way of improving our CV whilst playing rugby. The business was not restricted in terms of the products it could sell or the geographies that it operated in. The business sold ideas and we entered the market at exactly the right time. The UK economy had been enjoying an unprecedented period of economic growth since 1992, when the last recession had ended. Tony Blair had come into to power in 1997 at forty-three, becoming the youngest British prime minister this century, and under him the economy began to perform. Tim and I had complete autonomy and enjoyed the complexity that went with trying to work out how to grow a fledgling business. At that stage of the business I saw a correlation in terms of the effort I put in and the reward that I got out of it. It was exciting.

We invested in our first computer. The password for the computer was SA97 after the victorious Lions Tour that Tim had returned from. We accessed the internet through a dial-up/modem using a separate BT telephone line which connected to an internet service provider. This is now the slowest method of accessing the internet, but we were in the middle of the country and there was no broadband, just the telephone network. Looking back this is antiquated, yet in 1997 we felt we were ground-breaking.


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